"Why do some organizations hum like well-oiled machines, while others stall at every intersection? In today's increasingly fast-paced race, your organization needs to shift gears quickly to succeed and grow. If it's bogged down by micromanagement, clogged information flows, and mixed motivators, it is destined to fail."
A new book called Results, by Gary L.Neilson and Bruce A. Pasternack, describes the seven types of Organizational DNA and how to optimize the performance of each:
Passive-Aggressive: Everyone agrees, but nothing changes.
Fits-and-Starts: Let 1,000 flowers bloom.
Outgrown: The good old days meet a brave new world.
Overmanaged: We're from Corporate, and we're here to help.
Just-in-Time: Succeeding by the skin of our teeth...
Military Precision: Flying in formation...
Resilient: As good as it gets...
According to the Strategy+Business Resilience Report:
"Healthy companies are hard to mistake. Their managers have access to timely information, the authority to make decisions, and the incentives to act on behalf of the organization. The organization, in turn, carries out those decisions. We call these organizations "resilient," because they can react nimbly to challenges and respond quickly to those they can't dodge.
Unfortunately, most companies are not resilient: Fewer than 20 percent of the 30,000 individuals who responded to a Booz Allen Hamilton survey describe their organizations that way. By contrast, more than a quarter of the companies in our survey suffer from a cluster of pathologies we place under the label "passive-aggressive." The passive-aggressive organization displays a quiet but tenacious resistance to corporate directives, even when they are aligned with obvious strategic or competitive advantage. People pay those directives lip service but put in only enough effort to appear compliant; and "nothing ever changes around here."
In a Harvard Business review article the authors point to three classic failings that can precipitate a spiral into passive-aggressiveness:
- Unclear scope of authority. It's not clear who makes decisions, leading to dropped balls and to second-guessing or interference from higher-ups.
- Misleading goals. Incentives that are not aligned with overall objectives -- or not aligned with other goals across the organization -- can wreak havoc and give people an opportunity to make excuses instead of making things work.
- Agreement without cooperation. People pay lip service to change but secretly "hope it will go away" and don't put energy and effort into making it happen.
Read the first chapter of the book.
Do you work in a passive-aggressive organization? Or is it another kind? Please leave a comment and share your observations.Oh, and while we're on the subject of passive-aggressive behavior, check out How to use punctuation to work out your aggression. Thanks ze!
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